11 August 2012

Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer

Seemingly nothing in this world daunts the young criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl. In the fairy world, however, there is a small thing that has gotten under his skin on more than one occasion: Opal Koboi. In The Last Guardian, the evil pixie is wreaking havoc yet again. This time his arch rival has somehow reanimated dead fairy warriors who were buried in the grounds of Fowl Manor. Their spirits have possessed Artemis’s little brothers, making his siblings even more annoying than usual. The warriors don’t seem to realize that the battle they were fighting when they died—a battle against Artemis—is long over. Artemis has until sunrise to get the spirits to vacate his brothers and go back into the earth where they belong. Can he count on a certain LEPrecon fairy to join him in what could well be his last stand?
The last Artemis Fowl book.  What a thrilling end!  This book marks the very first to make me, Amelia Robinson, shed a tear.  Part of me always worries about what kind of hell the author will put their characters through in the series finale, and with these crazy MG authors anything is possible.  In Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian, I really enjoyed the maturation of the characters set off by Eoin Colfer's signature humor.  Colfer pulls out all the stops to create a fast-paced, intriguing topper to his beloved Artemis Fowl series.

As is the case of book eight of any series, there's some preconceived ideas about how awesome the book is going to be -- and if a reader is eight books into a series, we're gonna assume the series is awesome.  So there isn't much to add that hasn't already been said before.  It's established that the Artemis Fowl series, which has been in my life since I was ten, is justifiably the definition of awesomeness.  Moving on...

This final installation was sheer genius.  Colfer opens with a bold and exciting conflict -- I mean, maybe that's a bit of an understatement when the "bold" conflict was the utter destruction of the known world.  The stakes were upped like never before, creating a nail-biting ride.  I liked that Colfer went into this kind of territory: most books, dystopians especially, take place after the world has been destroyed and been refitted into a semblance of order.  The Last Guardian takes place during the destruction.  I really appreciated Colfer's imagination.

I liked how there was a definite maturation of the characters.  While Artemis Fowl has always been credited for speaking and acting a decade older than he should've been, emotionally there was a step up.  There was a wealth of history to draw upon and the characters had (finally) truly accepted each other.  I really enjoyed the camaraderie between them -- especially when it's accented with Colfer's signature humor.

The ending...was sheer brilliance.  Sheer, utter brilliance.  I have never seen a full circle executed so beautifully in the very last paragraph.  And the climax made me cry!  Me!  Cry!  Maybe I wasn't sobbing like a baby, but the words did go a little blurry and I had to wipe a tear away.  But, of course, what would you expect from the last book in a series?!  Ironically enough, the only other book that had me on the verge of tears was The Supernaturalist also by Eoin Colfer.

As sad as I was to see this beloved series come to an end, I really enjoyed it.  It was funny, exciting, satisfying... If you haven't ever read the Artemis Fowl series, I'd highly suggest you try it out.  It's middle grade, but it's short, enjoyable and terribly clever and imaginative.

My only regret, to those of you who have read the whole series: Seriously?  Why was Minerva never brought back in?  She was brilliant!

Quotes
Swear toads were the result of a college prank during which a group of postgrads had managed to imbue a strain of toads with the power of speech.  Bad language only.  This had been hilarious for about five minutes, until the toads began multiplying at a ferocious rate and spouting foul epithets at anything that moved, including kindergarten fairies and people's grandmothers. (p. 109)
"That will be her undoing," gasped Artemis, already suffering under the weight of the flak jacket.  "Artemis Fowl will never be secondary."

"I thought you were Artemis Fowl the Second?" said Holly.

"That is different." (p. 238)
Inside the barn, the plane lay balanced on a wheel and wing tip, with arrows piercing its body.  Holly's face was pressed to the glass, her mouth a disbelieving O.

I don't know why she's surprised, thought Mulch.  She should be used to me rescuing her by now. (p. 263)
Book Info
  • pages - hardcover, 328
  • published - July 2012
  • publisher - Hyperion
  • genre - fantasy
  • received via - Amazon :)
  • rating - 5/5
  • series - Artemis Fowl
    • Artemis Fowl
    • Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident
    • Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code
    • Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception
    • Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony
    • Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox
    • Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex
    • Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian 
More Info
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